Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Cool Oasis on the Hot Drive to Yuma

Before my mom arrived, we agreed that we both wanted to spend a few days in Southern California during her visit.  The weather looked ideal out there in the coming days, so we quickly put an itinerary together to head out there.

We didn’t leave Tucson until midday and it was already starting to get warm.  By the time we were driving west on I-8, the temps were hovering around 80 degrees.  After a few hours of driving into the afternoon sun, I was ready for a pit stop, but exits seemed to be far and few between in this stretch of the desert.

But then I saw it.

The exit pointing to Dateland!
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I vaguely remembered my friend Evelyn mentioning getting some great date shakes in Dateland a few weeks ago, and that certainly seemed to fit the bill on this hot afternoon, so we stopped.

At first, I wasn’t expecting much—just a typical-looking gas station mini mart with fast-food sandwich shop, but there did seem to be quite a few cars stopped, so something must be good!
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We ventured inside and waited for our date shakes to be made:
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OH MY GOD!  They were delicious!!!  Thanks for the tip Evelyn!!!  Of course, once we started sipping those shakes as we were browsing around the store, we just HAD to buy a few bags of dates.  Decided to go with the “Traditional Medjool” dates, the best and most juicy ones, and they have been terrific tasty treats these past few weeks!

I took Millie for a stroll over to the see the dates growing in the palm grove behind the store.  This lush green shady grove is a stark contrast to the arid, barren desert that surrounds it.

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I doubt I’ll ever be able to drive this stretch of I-8 again without stopping at Exit 67 for a date shake!

Once we finally made our way back onto the highway, it was a short drive over to Yuma.  Since Evelyn’s suggestion for the dates had been so spot-on, I decided to copy her suggested free overnight parking spot and cheap, tasty buffet at the Quechen Casino.  I had never tried RV parking at a casino before and was pleasantly surprised to find one last nice level spot still left in the large gravel lot filled with about 100 RVs.

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The $12.99 buffet was every bit as good as Evelyn had described, and being on the West side of Yuma (in California), it was a convenient spot to continue our travels westward in the morning.  Even Millie was pleased!

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My only regret was not having enough time to mosey a couple miles south to cross the border into Algadonnes, Mexico—land of abundant dentists, opticians, drugstores….and hoards of gringo Seniors buying it all up!  There’s always next year!

6 comments:

  1. We are going to need to put Dateland on our to do list.

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    1. It's seriously the only exit between Yuma and Gila Bend!

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed both places. Hey, we are tired of this cold and Tuesday we are heading back in your direction. We are going to Puerta Penasco and crossing the border at Ajo. Come on down!! We will stay at Playa de Oro RV park which is on the water.

    Evelyn

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  3. Those date shakes were a little too sweet for me the last time I had one, but maybe I should try one again. :)

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    Replies
    1. Guess we must have had the master shake-maker....ours were nicely balanced. Not too sweet and not too "datey"

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